OCUP 2 - Foundation

OMG Certified UML Professional 2™ (OCUP 2™): Foundation Level

Coverage Map and References

The OCUP 2 Foundation Level examination starts with a brief section on Why We Model, surveying many of the domains that use software modeling, the reasons they model, and the benefits they derive. The major portion of the examination tests the candidate's knowledge and skill in interpreting and constructing UML® Structural and Behavioral Models. Coverage is restricted to the three structural diagrams and four behavioral diagrams, and the UML model elements and attributes, listed in the Coverage Map on this page and the supplementary coverage map at the link two paragraphs below. 

Holders of the OCUP 2 Foundation Level Certification have demonstrated the knowledge and modeling skills needed to interpret UML models presented to them in their role as implementer or stakeholder of a project, or to be productive members of a team that builds or uses UML models in its analysis and design of a system (either new or existing) under study. 

SUPPLEMENTARY COVERAGE MAP NOW AVAILABLE: In preparation for the publication of the Intermediate Level OCUP 2 Examination and its Coverage Map, OMG has published a supplementary Coverage Map for the Foundation Level examination here. While this Supplementary Coverage Map serves mainly as a basis for description of the Intermediate and Advanced level coverage, it can also guide your study for the Foundation level exam. 

The OCUP 2 Foundation Level exam is available NOW from Pearson VUE


Examination Number: OMG-OCUP2-FOUND100
Duration: 120 minutes for residents of English-speaking countries; 150 minutes for all others
Exam Fee: US$200 (or local equivalent) for residents of English-speaking countries; US$210 (or local equivalent) for all others.
Minimum Passing Score: 60 items correct out of 90
Prerequisite: None

This page starts with the Coverage Map for the OCUP 2 Foundation Level Examination - a list of the topics and subtopics covered, and the percentage of the exam that each occupies. Following the Coverage Map is the list of references, along with suggestions for study. 


Why We Model
Many domains construct or use models, including those listed on the entrance page to this certification program. This section surveys the types of models they use, and the benefits they obtain. 
Interpretation and Construction of UML Models and Diagrams: 
Interpretation and construction of the UML Diagrams listed here, using the model elements listed below: 
The Class Diagram 25%
The Object Diagram 5%
The Package Diagram 5%
The Use Case Diagram 5%
The Activity Diagram 20%
The Sequence Diagram 15%
The State Machine Diagram 10%
TOTAL 100%


Since this is the Foundation exam, you should assume that the exam will not test obscure or rarely-used details and so concentrate on the main use(s) of the elements listed below. If you are familiar enough with these elements to use them flexibly in your modeling, you probably know enough UML to pass the OCUP 2 Foundation exam although some modelers will not pass on their first attempt even with this level of preparation. Keep in mind that the OCUP 2 program, even at the Foundation level, is intended to certify practitioners whose level of UML knowledge and skill supports proficient model building and interpretation - for example, those whose performance level places them in the top half of their workgroup. Finally, do not neglect the material on "Why We Model" - This section counts as 15% of your score so a poor performance here may keep you from passing even if you do well on the UML modeling portion. The four papers referenced on the Coverage Map web page provide thoughtful analyses of the different ways our domain benefits from modeling - material that a proficient modeler should be familiar with, and be ready to discuss when the topic arises.

IMPORTANT: See this paragraph (below) about Study Guides

How does this coverage compare to the original OCUP Fundamental exam? Although the list below appears to be much longer than the corresponding list for the first exam, almost 90% of the elements listed here were covered in the original OCUP Fundamental. (Material on OccurrenceSpecifications and the section on State Machines are new.)  Its original coverage map posting referred to diagrams in the UML specification, allowing it to incorporate multiple elements using a single line on the page. This does not mean that the amount of material is comparable, however: The OCUP 2 exam's modeling-oriented point of view goes into more depth for each element, so you have much more to cover and must go beyond the specification definitions to study modeling and usage. 

Coverage of UML includes these Elements:


Common Structure
• Type
• Dependency
• Namespace
• VisibilityKind (public, private, protected)
• MultiplicityElement
• Constraint
• Comment
• PackageImport

• Package (NOTE that Package Merge is not covered in OCUP 2)

Simple Classifiers
• PrimitiveType
• DataType
• Enumeration
• EnumerationLiteral
• Interface
• InterfaceRealization
• Signal
• Reception

Structured Classifiers
• Association
• Class

• Generalization
• Feature
• Structural Feature
• Behavioral Feature
• Property
• Operation
• Parameter
• AggregationKind 
(Composition, Aggregation)
• InstanceSpecification
• Slot

• LiteralBoolean
• LiteralInteger
• LiteralReal
• LiteralUnlimitedNatural
• LiteralNull
• LiteralString
• Opaque Expression


Use Cases
• UseCase
• Actor
• Include
• Extend

• Interaction
• OccurrenceSpecification
• ExecutionSpecification
• ExecutionOccurrenceSpecification
• DestructionOccurrenceSpecification
• Lifeline
• Message
• MessageOccurrenceSpecification
• MessageSort
• MessageEnd

Common Behavior
• CallEvent
• SignalEvent
• Trigger
• OpaqueBehavior

• Activity
• ActivityFinalNode
• ActivityParameterNode
• ControlFlow
• InitialNode
• DecisionNode
• FlowFinalNode
• ForkNode
• JoinNode
• MergeNode
• ObjectFlow
• ObjectNode

• Action
• CallBehaviorAction
• CallOperationAction,
• SendSignalAction
• AcceptEventAction
• Pin
• InputPin, OutputPin
• OpaqueAction

State Machines
• StateMachine
• State
• Transition
• Pseudostate: choice, junction, initial
• FinalState




Since the release in 2003 of UML 2.0 with its collection of new features and improvements, the history of the language has reflected more evolution than revolution. Even version 2.5, the stimulus for the upgrade of our certification program to OCUP 2, makes minimal changes to your models compared to its predecessor versions 2.4 and 2.4.1 in spite of thje major changes it makes to the underlying structure of the specification - such as the merging of the superstructure and infrastructure into a single document! (In fact, the authors of the 2.5 revision were required to minimize model-level changes as they simplified UML's underlying metamodel.) 

This means that you can study for the OCUP 2 examinations from older books about UML 2. (This is fortunate because the recent evolution of UML has lacked the high-level spec changes that would otherwise inspire authors to produce a new generation of books.)  We've listed two below (the Nutshell and Dummies books) that we believe reflect particularly high quality, but you should do well on the exam if you study from almost any book that covers the diagrams and elements listed on this page. Remember, when you select a book or reference for study, that the OCUP 2 examinations will ask you to interpret and and "construct" (by choosing the correct diagram from a set of options) UML diagrams, unlike the original OCUP program which restricted itself to definitions from the specification.

  • UML 2.0 in a Nutshell
    Dan Pilone, Neil Pitman - O'Reilly Media, 2005 [ISBN 978-0-596-00795-9]

  • UML 2 for Dummies
    Michael J Chonoles, James A. Schardt - Wiley, 2003 [ISBN 978-0-7645-2614-5]

Can I study for the OCUP 2 Foundation exam using the Certification Guide written for the original OCUP Fundamental?  In a word, No. The two exams are very different - while the original restricted itself to UML syntax and semantics (including the UML metamodel), the OCUP 2 Foundation exam tests UML usage in the context of modeling and this aspect is not presented in the study guide. Study from one of the books just mentioned or another good book about UML modeling, and explore the ways you can control the listed UML elements in your modeling tool. Learn how to use, or recognize and interpret, these elements in larger diagrams and how they can relate to each other. We based the new examination on these aspects of UML because they are the ones that you will use in your career as either a model builder or a model user. If you concentrate on the material presented in the original OCUP Certification Guide, you will be unprepared for the new OCUP 2 exam. 

Papers (All Downloadable Free): 
  • IBM Software Group, The Value of Modeling Also available as pdf
    NOTE: There are many reasons to model, in many different domains; also many benefits that derive from modeling, and many ways to evaluate those benefits. We've listed a few relevant papers here; the list of domains on our program's home page is relevant of itself. This IBM paper is a good treatment of the value of modeling in the software and systems domain. 

  • Joshua M. Epstein, Why Model?(pdf)  HTML version here
    NOTE: Full of reasons why we model, this generalist paper strays far from the software and systems domain but still contains enough relevant ideas to be a worthwhile reference in our context. 

  • Business Modeling: A Practical Guide to Realizing Business Value
    David Bridgeland and Ron Zahavi - MK/OMG Press, 2008. 
    Excerpt from Chapter 7: Model Value Analysis posted for free download here.
    NOTE: One answer to the question "Why model?" is "To enhance our company's bottom line." This book chapter, originally posted as a reference for OMG's OCEB (BPM and BPMN) certification program, tells how to calculate the value of a model in your context and environment. 

  • Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Why Domain Modeling, blog posting, Feb 2013. Wirfs-Brock, a pioneer in object-oriented design, writes in this post about the value of domain modeling. 

  • J.D. Baker, Model Organization with Packages and the Package DiagramWhite Paper, May 2013. 

  • Filip Stachecki, Concurrency in UML, White Paper, March 2014. Concurrency is a complex concept, and may be represented in most UML behavioral diagrams. This paper doesn't attempt to explain what Concurrency is - you'll have to learn that from books or courses - but it does point out the UML elements used to present concurrency in Activity diagrams (in scope for this exam), and Sequence and State Machine diagrams (for which Concurrency isn't tested until Intermediate level). 

OMG Specification (Downloadable Free): 
  • Unified Modeling Language (UML), V2.5
    We don't recommend trying to learn UML modeling by studying primarily from the OMG Specification document - after all, the document is written for tool builders, not for model builders. Still, there is a fair amount of modeling information scattered through the document, which is searchable and free, so we expect that most OCUP 2 candidates will have a copy on their hard disk.

For more information or questions about the OMG Certification Program, contact  certificationinfo@omg.org.

OCUP, OCRES, OCEB and OCSMP are joint programs of the OMG and the UML Technology Institute (UTI).